DOH notes ‘steep increase’ in NCR hospital admissions

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday it has noted a “steep increase” in the number of hospital admissions in Metro Manila.

According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the hospital bed utilization in Metro Manila is currently at 60 percent while the intensive care unit (ICU) utilization is at 58 percent.

“Mayroon tayong pagtaas sa mga naaadmit sa mga hospital particular na sa NCR. Kaugnay nito, kinakailangan nating unahin ang vulnerable population,” she said in a press briefing.

(We are now seeing an increase in the number of admissions in hospitals, particularly in NCR. In relation to this, we have to prioritize the vulnerable population.)

“With the increasing number of admission in the past week, with bed utilization now at 60 percent and ICU utilization at 58 percent, kinakailangan na po nating mapigilan ang banta ng Omicron sa pamamagitan ng pagsunod sa bagong protocols. Para ito sa protection ng vulnerable at sa ating buong sistema,” she added.

(We need to prevent the threat of Omicron by following guidelines. This is for the protection of the vulnerable and the entire system.)

Based on DOH metrics, a bed occupancy level of below 60 percent is considered safe while an occupancy ranging from 60 percent to 70 percent is considered moderate risk.

Following the increase in COVID-19 cases, hospital infection prevention and control committees and provincial health offices were earlier authorized to implement a shorter five-day isolation period for fully vaccinated healthcare workers who are COVID-19 positive but are asymptomatic or have mild to moderate symptoms.

Meanwhile, fully vaccinated healthcare workers who are close contacts of COVID-19 patients may no longer undergo quarantine.

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